Every season comes with its own set of risks, and fall/winter are no different. On top of a flurry of holidays and travel, the cool-weathered months see a sharp increase of lit candles in homes and apartments, leaving renters and home-owners with a relatively unknown – and dangerous – situation.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), of the 499,000 U.S. structure fires in 2017, an estimated 8,700 of these fires were caused by the careless or inappropriate use of candles.
As National Fire Prevention Week takes place in October, it’s a good time now to review candle fire causes and safety tips.
Candle Fire Causes
From October to January, home owners and renters have full schedules. Whether its hosting holiday parties or vacationing, candle fire causes are often overlooked.
Here’s proof. Each day, 23 house fires are reported to be started from a burning candle. And the fire causes are straightforward. The National Candle Association reports that 3 of every 5 candle fires start when flammable home goods, such as furniture, mattresses or decorations, are left too close to a burning candle.
Each day, 23 house fires are reported to be started from a burning candle.
Despite their calming effect, it’s important to spot the easily missed candle fire causes around your home or apartment. Here are key causes that we think you should know:
- Unattended candles in any space
- Candles near flammable materials
- Kids or pets having access to lit or un-lit candles
- Smoldering candles that are not extinguished
- Un-even drafts, vents or air-currents near a lit candle
- Use of low-quality candle holders
With so many plain sight candle fire causes, it’s important to understand some simple, yet very effective, safety tips for the fall and winter seasons.
When lighting a candle, use a long-reach lighter and keep all loose clothing away.
Avoid air vents or currents when positioning a candle to prevent uneven burning and excessive wax dripping.
When extinguishing a candle, always make sure it is completely out and the wickember is no longer burning before leaving the room.
To the holiday enthusiasts, be sure to plan wisely when setting up your holiday decorations. Hang and place any decorations a safe distance from candles. Any hung decorations should not be at risk of falling into a candle flame.
Keep candles out of the reach of children and pets. High ledges and countertops are preferred to end tables and accessible, low areas.
Always use a candleholder specifically designed for candle use. It should be heat-resistant, sturdy, and large enough to contain any drips or melted wax.
For more candle fire safety statistics and tips, follow our source links below.